Envision living life like The Jetsons? When the popular 60s sitcom appeared on television, their tech inspired us all to think about the future of urban air mobility (UAM).

More than 60 years after The Jetsons pilot episode premiere, we still don’t operate zippy space cars with a Rosey the Robot at our side. But aviation industry professionals know that we have witnessed seriously significant UAM developments – some of which can be life-saving.

Ever been in an emergency beyond the reach of ground vehicles?

If you’ve ever used or seen an air taxi or air ambulance, you’re already familiar with UAM vehicles. What defines an eVTOL aircraft is that it uses electric power to hover, take off, and land vertically.

As the market grows, a deeper dive into these vehicles becomes essential to further develop and understand what transportation will look like for future generations.

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What Urban Air Mobility (UAM) Is & How It’s Growing Development Impacts All Future Travel

You’ve likely seen these vehicles out and about in your everyday life without thinking about it too much. But if you’ve ever seen an Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) or UAM vehicle, it looks like…

  • Air taxis
  • Personal air vehicles
  • Cargo air vehicles
  • Air ambulances

The combination of these vehicles is known as an aviation transportation system.

It’s also important to separate from what it is not. An eVTOL vehicle is neither a drone nor a traditional helicopter. A drone is considered an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) as it does not require a pilot or anyone else “on board” to operate. Therefore, delivery drones are typically smaller and may also be referred to as an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). That term more accurately describes its purpose.

Helicopters use a fossil-fuel-powered thermal propulsion system with single or dual rotors for vertical liftoff. eVTOL aircraft are distinct from traditional helicopters as they feature multiple smaller electric rotors that enable quieter and more efficient operation.

True eVTOL aircraft are designed to transport passengers or cargo with the ability to take off and land vertically. They also typically have two fundamental ways of operating using a wingless or powered lift system. Wingless eVTOLs are “multicopters” while vehicles with powered lift systems are known for having a vectored, independent, or combined thrust. eVTOLs can generally accommodate between 4 to 9 passengers and have ranges between 40 to 300 miles.

4 Primary Benefits Of Advanced UAM In Aviation

eVTOL vehicles are best equipped to handle short-range air travel within urban areas. Because of this, there’s potential to improve a variety of services while using time, energy, and cost-cutting techniques to get them done.

The following are examples of what those benefits can look like as they develop and progress in 4 ways:

1. Reduce Traffic Congestion

As the population increases, traffic congestion on roads and highways is also a major issue. Whether you’re driving 10 minutes down the road or 2 hours into the office as part of your daily commute, traffic is a favorite of very few. The same problem also exists at airlines where about 100,000 flights take off worldwide each day. Of those flights, about 90,000 are dedicated to passenger travel.

Developing UAM solutions to offer more affordable and available airborne short-hop services could bypass ground traffic and potentially reduce total travel time.

2. Offer Sustainable Transportation

What fascinates many people about eVTOLs is that they offer reduced carbon emissions compared to fossil fuel-based aircraft by using fully electric or hydrogen fuel cells to operate. Transitioning all future aircraft into sustainable machines that operate similarly to current eVTOLs can reduce noise, pollution, operational costs, and energy consumption generally associated with aviation.

Furthermore, as eVTOLs align with the aviation industry’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint and operational costs, eVTOLs could eventually pave a path to the discovery of an environmentally sound solution for short and long-term travel.

3. Enhance Medical Organizations & Teams

Of the many benefits eVTOLs offer, the ability to travel quickly and directly from place to place is a game-changer for medical emergencies and the teams that respond to them.

When ground transportation isn’t readily available, eVTOLs could assist with rapidly delivering organs for transplants and other essential medical equipment or supplies. These aircraft could also be a chance to cut down on response time and deliver medical services faster to those living in rural areas. Faster response times could drastically impact survival rates for individuals suffering from a heart attack or stroke. Learn more about Jump Aero’s First-Responder eVTOL.

4. Provide Economic Growth

Developing a UAM-friendly infrastructure stirs up conversations around more opportunities to add vertiports and charging stations, creating new jobs and spurring economic growth in active eVTOL regions.

Expected Growth Of UAM In Aviation

eVTOL vehicles combine systems and technology from the automotive and aviation industries to further create UAM solutions. Because eVTOL development requires several integrative solutions, the UAM market size is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 32.10%, extending its value to $55 billion by 2034. This is a massive increase compared to its estimated value in 2024 at $3.4 billion.

Of course, intense growth also means several major players in the UAM space are in a race to produce the best and most efficient eVTOLs. So don’t be surprised if you notice emerging partnerships in aviation and aerospace with companies like Vertical Aerospace, Joby, Embraer, and Wisk.

Additionally, pioneers in UAM not involved in development will continue engaging in partnerships with airlines and other companies to be the first buyers of eVTOL aircraft.

Aviation indeed seems like a small niche industry, but it has the power to alter how we live, work, communicate, and get from place to place. You don’t have to have an aerospace background or pilot’s license to understand what’s going on now, what’s under construction, and what we could face moving forward.

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Using all-electric aircraft to move people and products efficiently is a dream many have had for years. However, ongoing developments in transportation and technology must also be met with safety as a priority. Because science and technology haven’t reached this point, living The Jetson’s life will simply have to remain on television for now.

Reach out to a team of ASA Accredited Appraisers for your aviation appraisal needs.